Driving Change from the Middle in High-Tech Organizations: An Approach and Lessons Learned from a Military Science and Technology Development Organization
UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA ORLANDO
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The US. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center TARDEC recognized a need for strategic organizational renewal and transformation to become more responsive and relevant to its operational military and funding customers, ongoing war effort support, and anticipated future combat and support system requirements. In an effort to identify and solve significant problems without a major disruption to the organization, a grass-roots approach, which balanced middle management sponsorship and leadership with bottoms-up involvement, was taken to identify and implement several strategic quick wins. During the process a middle management steering group and champion were identified, and working level action teams formed to identify several significant contemporary problems considered critical to near-and longer-term organizational success. This planned approach was an alternative to the more traditional and protracted strategic organization analysis and renewal process developing or reviewing mission, vision, goals, objectives, etc.. Identified and reported in this paper are a research approach and methodology, a case description, some improvement initiative results, and implications for managers of technology. A central research question asked and partially answered was Is this grass-roots engineering and technology management approach effective and efficient for identifying and driving organizational performance improvements. The preliminary answer is Yes, it was.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics